When and which COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be available in Asia

Pfizer Inc with partner BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc and AstraZeneca Plc have released trial data this month showing their experimental
are effective
in preventing the disease.

If regulators approve any of the
in coming weeks, the companies have said distribution could begin almost immediately with governments around the world.

But many Asian countries do not expect
to receive big amounts initially, and below
are estimated distribution timelines, supply deals announced so far and clinical trials under way
in the region.


It has agreed
to buy 135 million doses: 34 million from AstraZeneca, 40 million from Novavax Inc, 10 million from Pfizer and 51 million from CSL Ltd.

It expects delivery of 3.8 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine
in January and February next year.


China has not announced supply deals with Western drugmakers,
which instead have partnered with private companies.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine may
be approved
in China by mid-2021 and its Chinese partner Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products plans
to have annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the vaccine by end-2020.

For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, a unit of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group plans a Phase 2 trial.

Tibet Rhodiola Pharmaceutical Holding is bringing
in Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik V and plans early and mid-stage trials of the shot
in China.

China has also approved three vaccine candidates developed by Sinovac and state-owned Sinopharm for emergency use programme, and Sinopharm is hopeful of its two candidates receiving conditional approval for general public use within this year.


Japan has deals
to purchase 120 million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech
in the first half of next year, 120 million from AstraZeneca, of
which first 30 million will
be shipped by March 2021, and 250 million from Novavax.

It is also
in talks with Johnson & Johnson and has a deal with Shionogi & Co.

Experts said vaccine makers would need
to conduct at least Phase 1-2 trials
in Japan before seeking approval.


It aims
to secure
vaccines for 10 million people from COVAX and 20 million people from separate deals with drugmakers by the end of this year.

It has the “Optional Purchase” arrangement with COVAX that allows it
to select
vaccines from specific vaccine makers.

The timing of the procurement and the amount depend on the production schedule of those
vaccines, according
to health officials.

Inoculation is
to start
in the second quarter of next year
to allow more time
to observe potential side effects.


The head of the Serum Institute of India,
which makes the AstraZeneca vaccine, said on Nov 23 the positive late-state trial result of the candidate will allow it
to seek emergency use authorisation by year-end, before gaining approval for a full rollout by February or March next year.

India also expects a government-backed vaccine
be launched as early as February, while it is conducting a late-stage trial of Sputnik V.


Taiwan aims
to secure around 15 million doses initially, both via the COVAX scheme and by directly purchasing from vaccine makers, and may buy additional 15 million doses.

The government has said it hopes
to begin vaccinations
in the first quarter of next year.


It is
in talks with AstraZeneca for the supply of at least 20 million doses,
which may arrive
in the country
in the second quarter of next year. It hopes
to lock
in 60 million doses
in total and also is
in talks with Pfizer and Sinovac.

Vaccine makers can apply for approval with the country’s regulators even if no clinical trial is done
in the Philippines.


It is one of the countries listed as 92 low and middle income economies,
which means it is entitled
to have access
vaccines through COVAX for 20% of its population, or approximately 106-107 million doses if each person gets two injections.

Indonesia is testing Sinovac vaccine and preparing
to start mass vaccination for medical staff and other frontline workers as early as late January.


A government official says
vaccines from COVAX would cover only 20% of its population and the country is
to have a chance
to secure separate deals soon as overall demand is very high.


Bangladesh signed a deal with India’s Serum
to buy 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

It also expects
to receive 68 million doses from GAVI at a subsidized rate, a senior health ministry official said.

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